<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:04:54 -0800 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:04:54 -0800 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Snow, Rain Fall Across San Diego County]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:40:46 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/palomar+web+1-PIC_0.jpg

Get your umbrellas and snow chains ready, San Diego.

Rain and snow is falling across San Diego County Sunday as a storm system rolls through. 

A Winter Storm Watch is in effect until Monday afternoon, NBC 7 Meteorologist Greg Bledsoe said.

"We can expect on and off showers around the county today," Bledsoe said. "As for the mountains, the snow started this morning and should continue on and off through Monday."

Areas in the mountains could receive between four to eight inches at elevations higher than 5,000 feet, Bledsoe said.

The Winter Weather Warning will be in effect for San Diego Mountains until 4 p.m. on Monday. 

Heavy rainfall also left several streets flooded around San Diego, the California Highway Patrol said.

Quarry Road Dip in Spring Valley is closed between Lakeview Road and Highway 125 due to flooding, the CHP said. Interstate 805 southbound at the East 52 junction had large amounts of water in the lanes. The 5200 block of Bonita Road also had several lanes blocked due to flooding.

Crews are working to clean an oil spill along the 52 Freeway East overpass from Interstate 5 southbound. The California Highway Patrol and the San Diego Police Department's HAZMAT Unit are working to clean up the ramp.

The San Diego County Water Authority and local lifeguard and fire rescue stations are offering tips to conserve water and keep homes and businesses safe.

Homes and businesses in need of sandbags can go to any San Diego county fire station or to lifeguard stations in Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores. Crews do need to be present at the stations to receive sandbags. Sandbags can be filled up by beaches.

The San Diego County Water Authority said it is important to have sprinkler systems shut off during the rain to conserve water, and the systems can remain off for a few days after the last rain.

The San Diego Sheriff's Department also reminds those headed to the snow in the Julian, Pine Valley and Descanso areas to use snow chains. Drivers should have a full tank of gas, water and food in the event they get stuck in traffic or stranded by weather for several hours.

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story on our mobile site.]]>
<![CDATA[One Dead After Northbound I-5 Collision]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 10:18:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_generic_police_tape_police_lights_fishtown11.jpg

One man is dead and another injured following a crash on Interstate 5 in Oceanside, officials said.

At approximately 6:50 a.m., a 29-year-old San Diego man was driving his 2002 Honda Civic when, according to the passenger, the car started to hydroplane and the driver lost control, the California Highway Patrol said.

The car hit the center divide and overturned. The California Highway Patrol blocked two lanes just south of the Birmingham Road exit to respond, they said.

The 29-year-old passenger crawled out of the vehicle and was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital. with minor to moderate injuries. The driver was trapped in the car and pronounced dead on scene.

Drugs and alcohol are not suspected as a factor in the crash.

<![CDATA[How Living Donors Save Lives]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 10:31:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/KIDNEY_FOLO_-_PAIRED_EXCHANGE_1200x675_406113859798.jpg

Six months after Susan Woolley donated her kidney to Jesse Macias, the longtime friends and colleagues catch up over breakfast in downtown San Diego.

"It's a new lease on life. I really owe it to Susie and what she did for me. I can never repay her. It just means so much to me, " says Jesse Macias.

"I think it changed my life in the gratitude I feel. I'm so happy that I did what I did to change his life," says Susan Woolley.

Susan is a video editor at NBC7. Jesse is a former local news reporter, who suffers from poly cystic kidney disease.

Until his transplant surgery in August, Jesse says it was a struggle just to eat a meal.

"Now, I can sit down for a while and not worry about the next day, or the next 30 minutes, of what can happen to me," says Macias.

Susan was able to donate directly to Jesse because their blood types match and other markers were compatible.

But often, people who want to donate to a specific person are not a match.

That's where the National Kidney Registry comes in.

It works with transplant hospitals around the country, including Sharp Memorial Hospital in Kearny Mesa, to pair up compatible living donors.

"The main advantage of a living donor is you get a higher quality organ," says Barry Browne, M.D. transplant surgeon at Sharp Memorial Hospital.

Santee resident Anesi Koria donated his kidney to the National Kidney Registry because he was not a match with his wife, Jill, who needed a transplant.

Anesi's kidney went to someone in Cincinnati, Ohio.

In return, his wife Jill got a kidney from someone else in the registry.

"Knowing how my wife's quality of life is, and knowing I'd done it for a young gentleman in Cincinnati, it makes you feel good. You feel good for helping somebody in that way," said Koria.

8 living donors have given their kidneys to the National Kidney Registry through Sharp Memorial Hospital, simply out of the goodness of their hearts.

The hope is more people will follow their lead.

"There are 3 to 4 hundred thousand people on dialysis, most of whom could use a kidney transplant. but there are only about 7 thousand cadaver donors a year. There are another 50 to 100 million potential donors walking around, who could give up one of their kidneys and still live a healthy normal health life," says Dr. Browne.

Kidney failure is not reversible, unlike heart disease or liver disease, which can improve with diet and lifestyle changes.

"By the time we figure out someone has kidney disease, it's usually past the point where we can do much to improve their kidney function," says Dr. Browne.

The wait for a kidney donation can take five to seven years.

In California, only about 11 percent of people who need a kidney actually get one.

A third of those donations come from living donors.

"The problem is, kidney failure is an epidemic in the United States because diabetes and blood pressure are so common," says Dr. Browne.

What's not common are donations from people who are alive, like Susan.

"We have a shortage of donors, not a shortage of organs," says Dr. Browne.

Because she donated her kidney, Susan will get priority at Sharp Memorial Hospital, should she ever need any kind of transplant later in life.

Susan's kidney donation also had an unexpected outcome.

"The positive influence on my children. Afterwards, I think they were very proud. Also, they looked at each other and said, 'You know, I can do that for you. I can do that.' They realized how important it would be in someone else's life. That's huge," says Woolley.

<![CDATA[Cirque Du Soleil Dazzles at Valley View]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:17:30 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Varekai+0227.jpg

This weekend is your last chance to catch Cirque Du Soleil at Valley View Casino Center.

The thrilling performance’s final four shows happen Saturday and Sunday at the event center at 3500 Sports Arena Boulevard.

The show, called “Varekai Cirque Du Soleil,” follows a young man who’s parachuted into a magical forest with fantastical creatures.

“This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Verekai,” Valley View writes.

Show times are at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday.

Ticket costs range from $44 to $169. Parking costs $20.

Photo Credit: Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Fire Breaks Out at Disneyland]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 15:42:17 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/150228-disneyland-fire.jpg

A fire broke out at Disneyland in Anaheim on Saturday night, but was quickly extinguished, a spokeswoman for the theme park said.

The flames were reported about 9:20 p.m. in a back stage area near the It’s a Small World attraction, said the spokeswoman, Suzi Brown. The fire was not inside the building.

The small blaze was possibly sparked by a fireworks show that usually takes place at 9:25 p.m., she said. The show may have started earlier due to the possibility of rain.

No one was hurt, Brown said.

Anaheim and Disneyland fire personnel responded to the fire.

Posts on social media, including Instagram and Twitter, showed flames near the attraction.

The theme parked hoped to reopen It's a Small World late Saturday night. Disneyland was scheduled to remain open until midnight.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Cavin Hawkins]]>
<![CDATA[Escaped Inmate Found Hiding in Hot Tub]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 21:47:15 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/150301-escaped-inmate-search-lomita.jpg

An inmate who escaped into a Southern California neighborhood was found hiding in a hot tub and taken into custody, officials said.

The inmate, identified as Arturo Valenzuela, was working in a rear parking lot at the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lomita Station when he jumped a fence and took off, Deputy Mike Barraza said. He was reported missing about 2:40 p.m.

Deputies, backed by units from the Sheriff’s Carson Station, a helicopter and K-9, set up a perimeter in search of Valenzuela, who was wearing a yellow jumpsuit.

Officials confirmed that he was found about 5 p.m. hiding out in a covered hot tub in a nearby backyard in the 25900 block of Cypress Street. The hot tub had a little bit of water in the bottom, deputies said.

Valenzuela was taken to the hospital to be treated for an ankle injury that he suffered during the incident, officials said.

He was booked for escape and being held on $100,000 bail. He had originally been jailed for burglary.

Valenzuela was working at the station under minimum security as part of a program that employs inmates who meet certain criteria, deputies said.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC]]>
<![CDATA[Dramatic Police Shooting On Camera]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 00:00:58 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/150301-downtown-la-ois-skid-row.jpg

Los Angeles police officers shot and killed a man on Skid Row on Sunday while he allegedly struggled with them for control of one of the officers' guns, officials said.

Dramatic cellphone video captured the violent confrontation that took place about noon on a sidewalk in the 500 block of South San Pedro Street in downtown LA.

Police were responding to a report of a robbery when they confronted the man, who was not identified.

Cellphone video taken by a witness shows several officers attempting to take him into custody as bystanders look on.

The man can be seen swinging his arms as officers approach him. The man then falls to the ground and officers apparently attempt to take him into custody.

"While on the ground, the suspect and officers struggled over one of the officer's handguns and then an officer-involved shooting occurred," the LAPD said in a statement.

The officers first used a stun gun on him, police said. At least five gunshots were fired shortly after.

Multiple officers could be seen with their guns drawn after shots rang out.

"There was no reason for them to do that," said witness Jerome Guillory.

No officers were struck by gunfire, officials said. Two of them suffered minor injuries.

Several witness videos showing graphic portions of the altercation were posted online. One taken from another angle shows a person nearby picking up a police baton from the floor. That person was knocked to the ground by officers and taken into custody.

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said at least one of the officers was wearing a body camera.

Police did not release the man's name, and Smith said he did not know whether the man was homeless, according to The Associated Press.

Officials said "video from various sources" will be reviewed during the investigation.

Demonstrators gathered at Pershing Square on Sunday night to protest the fatal shooting.

"People here, they have mental health issues, you know what I'm saying? They're homeless. Be trained to deal with those type of people," said local resident Tonia Gibson.

NBC4's Asher Klein and Kevin LaBeach contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: KNBC/KVEA]]>
<![CDATA[New App Lets Patients Receive Diagnosis Through Phone]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 16:57:37 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Liberty11P0228_1200x675_406144067928.jpg

Not feeling up for a visit to the doctor? A new phone application may be able to help you out.

Doctor on Demand can help diagnose common health problems without the patient ever having to step foot inside a hospital.

Users can download the application and talk with board-certified and licensed doctors in their area through a web cam.

Some doctors say this is another way of dealing with day-to-day care, but should not be used for chronic health issues.

The application works on a pay-per-visit basis with no other feeds and has medical and pediatric doctors available as well as psychologists and lactation consultants.

<![CDATA[Escondido PD Check on Registered Sex Offenders]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 16:13:35 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/escondido+police.jpg

Dozens of officers hit the streets Saturday in Escondido to ensure hundreds of registered sex offenders are complying with the terms of their release.

NBC 7’s Matt Rascon rode along with an officer from the Escondido Police Department for a look at what police are doing.

The law states that sex offenders must update police on where they live, what they do for work, and the cars they own.

Keeping track of the registered sex offenders that live in Escondido is part of the job description for some officers with the department.

Sergeant Chris Lick is one of the police officers that works with the U.S. Marshals and Probation officers to contact all sex offenders all at once.

During the Saturday sweep, officers checked in on about 160 out of 200 registered sex offenders in the city. That number can fluctuate daily with moves or deaths, police said.

Photo Credit: Escondido Police Facebook]]>
<![CDATA[Navy Settles Dispute Over Native American Remains]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 14:13:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/236*120/death+certificate+san+nicolas+island.JPG

The Navy is turning over hundreds of human remains to a California Indian tribe after determining that the band has a historical connection to one of the Channel Islands.

A report this week in the Federal Register said Navy officials have recognized that the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians has a connection to the history of the island.

The designation means that the remains of 469 people and 436 burial objects that were removed from San Nicolas Island over the last century will be repatriated to the tribe in Temecula, a suburb 75 miles southeast of Los Angeles, according to the report.

The Ventura County Star reports the decision came after more than two years of talks between Navy officials and tribal officials over the Navy-owned island, which is 65 miles off the coast.

"What (this) decision means is that nearly 500 human remains, and hundreds of burial and sacred items will finally be afforded the respect and dignity they have long deserved under federal law," said Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro, in a statement released Friday.

The artifacts have been moving around museums throughout the state.

Photo Credit: Courtesy Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library]]>
<![CDATA[Foot Pursuit Ends With Suspect in Custody]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 09:53:54 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Police+Line+Police+Tape+Police+Generic+Frankford.JPG

A suspect is in police custody after leading authorities on a foot pursuit, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The pursuit started at 9:42 p.m. in La Mesa near Jackson and Baltimore Drive, the CHP said.

The chase ended in the 6100 block of Baltimore Drive, where officers placed the suspect in custody.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[SD Veteran Almost Loses Life Protecting Friend]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:13:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Omari11P0228_1200x675_406145091641.jpg

One San Diego veteran survived the dangers of deployment, only to come home and nearly lose his life protecting a friend.

28-year-old Marine Corps veteran Tim Caudill was stabbed by another man during a fight at The Eagle Bar in North Park on Wednesday.

Caudill, now recovering back at home, said he was stabbed multiple times and came close to losing his life. 29-year-old Homer Rubio was arrested for the crime.

When Caudill jumped in front of his friend Michael Romano, he said Rubio lunged toward him with a knife in hand.

“I think he’s a really good person,” Romano said. “I don’t look at it as heroic, more as someone who is morally a strong person that saw a situation for what it was and reacted to it.”

The attack happened on the same day San Diego Police released data showing violent crime in entertainment districts like North Park, Pacific Beach and East Village rose.

Overall crime in the city is down 13.5 percent.

Caudill said he hopes what happened to him is a call to action.

“As a society, we need to address mental illness and substance abuse. There are a lot of things we let go untalked about that we shouldn’t, because it doesn’t immediately affect you until the guy at the bar is stabbing you at the bar for no reason,” Caudill said.

The man accused of stabbing Caudill is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.

<![CDATA[Padres Spring Training: Wil Myers]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 11:33:45 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WIL_MYERS_OK_1200x675_406146627897.jpg Wil Myers arrived in the Major Leagues in June of 2013. He only played 88 games but was so good, he won the American League Rookie of the Year Award for Tampa Bay. Last year, Myers suffered a pair of wrist injuries and saw his numbers plummet, opening the possibility for the Rays to trade him to the Padres and complete the Friars’ new-look outfield. At the Padres Spring Training complex in Peoria, AZ, NBC 7’s Derek Togerson went 1 on 1 with Myers to talk about his new surroundings, new team mates, and new expectations.]]> <![CDATA[Man Leads Deputies on Chase, Crashes Into Patrol Car: Sheriff]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 11:23:18 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/san+diego+county+Sheriff+generic+logo.jpg

A man that allegedly crashed into a Sheriff's Deputy's patrol car has been booked into jail and identified, officials said.

Police arrested Eddie Martin, 41, of Santee after he led police on a chase and collided head-on with a responding deputy’s patrol car at the intersection of Mast Boulevard and Hartland Circle.

The first incident happened at 10:40 a.m. when San Diego Sheriff's Deputies responded to a domestic violence call.

Martin was reportedly in a domestic violence dispute with his wife and told her he was willing to engage in a gun battle with law enforcement if he was contacted by them, deputies said. He fled before deputies arrived.

Officers were called back to Martin’s house that evening around 7 p.m. for reports of him banging on the front door. Martin left before deputies arrived, officials said.

After a brief search, he was later seen driving his Tahoe on Mast Boulevard in Santee.

Officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop when Martin failed to yield, driving westbound into the eastbound lanes of Mast Boulevard. He then collided head-on with a responding deputies patrol car, leaving major front-end damage.

Both the officer and Martin were taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. Martin was later released and booked into San Diego Central Jail for felony domestic violence, felony evading, possession of a stolen handgun, causing injury while driving under the influence, and other related charges.

Photo Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.]]>
<![CDATA[Exclusive: MTS Officers Refuse to Help on Video]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 09:36:45 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/trolleygeneric_trolley_generic.jpg

The Metropolitan Transit System is investigating an incident last Monday where several of its security officers were seen standing at a trolley stop in Downtown San Diego apparently refusing to help a bleeding man across the street.

San Diego police confirmed that shortly before 11 p.m. on February 23rd, two men were playing around when one accidently pushed another into a window near the intersection of 6th Avenue and C Street. The injured man was bleeding at the time.

Joseph Hernandez witnessed the accident and started filming with his cellphone. The injured man was on ground near a building and the five or six security officers were standing on the trolley station platform across the street.

In the video, Hernandez asked the MTS security officers, “Do you guys have radio, like on channel two or three or anything like that? You got walkie-talkies here. [Can you call] dispatch or something?”

One woman can be heard screaming, “Why aren’t you guys doing anything?”

One of the security officers told Hernandez, “We’re strictly transit. We’re not…that’s off our property.”

MTS provided NBC 7 with this statement:

“The role of Transit Security Officers is to help ensure a safe and secure environment for MTS passengers on board the Trolley and at Trolley Stations. While they have no enforcement authority outside of MTS property, security officers are trained to provide assistance to people when warranted. MTS is investigating this incident to determine whether protocol was properly followed.”

An MTS spokesman says the agency is currently speaking with the security officers involved to determine what exactly happened.

Hernandez says he does not know the current condition of the injured man.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Child Thrown from Vehicle in Otay Mesa Crash]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 11:00:20 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/OtayMesa+Crash+Web+img-PIC_0.jpg

A four-year-old boy is recovering after he was thrown from an SUV during a crash, police said.

The incident happened just before 8 p.m. Friday at Del Sur Boulevard and Agosto Street in Otay Mesa.

Police said the driver lost control and swerved onto the other side of the road, where the car crashed into a pickup truck, a trailer and an SUV, all parked on the street.

The impact of the accident spun the car 180 degrees and crushed the car.

A woman inside her home heard the crash as it happened and ran outside to find the boy crying, she said. She ran across the street to help.

San Diego Police arrested the driver after a field sobriety test, they said.

The boy has minor injuries.

A witness said she also saw a young girl in the car but she did not appear to be hurt, the witness said.

<![CDATA[Poway Company Creates Less Lethal Bullet]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 10:28:25 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sdpd-badge_1200x675_402098243860.jpg

A modified bullet made by a company in Poway could save officers and citizens in dangerous situations.

Alternative Ballistics is lethal force option for police officers, without the deadly result.

The device is designed to stop you but not to kill you.

"Obviously you rather be hit with this than a bullet," says Alternative Ballistics CEO Chris Ellis.

The "Alternative" can be placed onto an officers gun. Once the weapon is fired the bullet embeds into a circular, alloy projectile.

"Which will then make contact with the person knocking them down without doing the internal damage that a bullet will do," says Ellis.

Ellis says he comes from a family of law enforcement and created this device to give officers more tools when they may be forced to use their weapons.

"That's what we designed this product for to give them another option and save as many lives as we possibly can," says Ellis.

During a press conference about officer involved shootings, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman stressed the importance of having less lethal options more readily available.

But will the San Diego Police Department start adopting the new technology?

The department released as statement saying: "While we do have subject matter experts constantly testing and evaluating different products and technology as it becomes available, we don't endorse or discredit vendors that are trying to market their product."

"We need this product, we've been waiting many years for something like this," says Ellis. "There's a big gap between bullets and less lethal devices. We want to help bridge that gap with something that kind of falls in between."

<![CDATA[Police Can't Substantiate Allegation Against Bus Driver]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:00:56 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_school_bus_generic1.jpg

The investigation into allegations a local bus driver forced a special needs student to urinate on a school bus and then touched the student inappropriately cannot be substantiated, according to San Diego Police.

Lt. Scott Wahl, spokesperson for the San Diego Police Department, confirmed Friday the investigation into the incident is over. Wahl also said no arrest has been made.

The allegations stem from a local family who is going to trial over a lawsuit they filed against the San Diego Unified School District. According to court documents, a special needs student on his way home from Riley Elementary School was forced to expose himself and urinate on the bus in January 2012.

The claim says the bus driver took photos and video of the child’s exposed penis with his phone and then touched the boy, who was eight years old at the time, in a sexual manner.

The school district, in an answer to the complaint, denied all charges made by the family. A spokeswoman for the school district told NBC 7 she could not comment on ongoing litigation.

Click here to read more about the lawsuit in the original story.

A family member of the boy reported the incident to the San Diego Police Department a week after it happened, according to a district spokeswoman.

SDPD has not released the full police report, citing exemptions in the California Public Records Act, but the agency confirmed it received a report and has provided some details related to it and the incident.

According to that information obtained from SDPD, a police officer “responded to a call regarding a bus driver who grabbed the victim as the victim urinated inside the school bus” on Feb. 6, 2012 around 5:35 pm.

In details of the report provided by police, the answer “none” was given, when asked to provide a “general description of any injuries, property, or weapons involved.”

<![CDATA[Woman Hit By Car in Critical Condition: Police]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:10:40 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDPD-Golden-Spoon-Robbery.jpg

A woman is suffering from life-threatening injuries after she was hit while crossing the street.

Police said the 45-year-old woman was running on Lytton Street across Rosecrans Street around 9:30 p.m. Friday when a car slammed into her.

The woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition. Police said the woman broke one of her arms, her pelvis and both legs and suffered a brain bleed.

The San Diego Police Traffic Division is investigating.

<![CDATA[Trayvon Martin's Dad at University]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 21:27:19 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Trayvon-Martin-Father-at-Ar.jpg

The father of Trayvon Martin took the stage at a local university Saturday — just days after the three-year anniversary of his son's death.

Tracy Martin had a conversation with Philadelphia Daily News columnist Solomon Jones in front of an audience as part of an evening of events that began at 5 p.m. Saturday at Arcadia University in Glenside, Pa.

“I think the next step for all of us is becoming more educated on how the law applies to us,” Martin said. “How the police work.”

Dubbed "Letters to Trayvon: A Celebration of Black Men and Boys," the night also featured the three winners of a citywide letter writing contest for high school students. The teens wrote letters "expressing how they felt when they heard about the death of Trayvon Martin," according to LettersToTrayvon.com. One letter was written by Michael DeShield, a student at Abington High School.

“We can make a difference, Trayvon,” DeShield wrote. “I thought I’d just let you know that your death was not in vain. Thank you.”

The unarmed 17-year-old Florida boy was shot to death Feb. 26, 2012 by a neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman. Zimmerman said the fatal shooting was in self-defense and he was acquitted by a jury in July 2013 on all state charges.

During the event, Tracy Martin emphasized the importance of family values and parenting.

“We’ve kind of lost the love and respect for other man,” he said. “If our young people don’t respect themselves, they’re not going to respect you. We have to get back to basic parenting 101.”

As the live interview began at 7:30 p.m., a 48-hour social media campaign came to an end. The online push was meant to "flood the internet with positive images of black men and boys, articles, quotes, poetry, and music that speaks to the challenges and triumphs of black men and boys," the website continued.

“We hope we can get other people to come on board and understand that this is about humanity,” said Dr. Doreen Loury of Arcadia University. “Not a black and white thing. This is about humanity.”

Using the hashtag #LTT2015, users began sharing images of Trayvon in a hoodie, as well as shots of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and other civil rights leaders Thursday at 7:30 p.m. — the time the Florida teen was pronounced dead three years ago that day.

“People need to get real about the fact a person’s race really impacts the way that they’re treated in America in every aspect of their life,” said Lawanda Horton, an organizer for the event.

A VIP reception, which cost $50 to attend, was hosted by The Black Male Development Symposium, Mission Inc. and Arcadia's Pan African Studies Program. Proceeds from the event benefit students attending the Black Male Development Symposium and the Trayvon Martin Foundation.

<![CDATA[NJ Man Steals Jeep, Rams 3 Police Cars: Authorities]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:53:05 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Generic-Police.jpg

A New Jersey man faces a slate of charges accusing him of ramming three police squad cars with a stolen Jeep Wrangler after being confronted by officers in farmers market parking lot.

Middlesex Borough police apprehended Kristof McCoy, 19, of Millington, at the Route 28 Farmers Market after being alerted to the vicinity by a motorist who said McCoy had earlier sideswiped his vehicle. The motorist had followed McCoy, but lost him.

As officers approached the Jeep Wrangler, it sideswiped one squad car, rammed another head-on, then backed into a third patrol car. One officer, who had exited his car, had to leap aside to avoid being struck by McCoy, police said.

After striking the squad cars, Jeep Wrangler sideswiped a nearby car and crashed into a fence at the north end of the parking lot. McCoy then fled on foot but was caught by two officers.

Investigators determined that the Jeep Wrangler had been stolen from a residence in Long Hill Township.

McCoy was charged with four counts of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, possession of stolen property and criminal mischief. He was ordered held at the Middlesex County Adult Correctional Center in lieu of $150,000 bail.

It was unclear whether he had obtained a lawyer. 

<![CDATA[Sex Offender Arrested at Toll Booth]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:09:21 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/22815tunnel.jpg

A New York man, stopped for ignoring a "Do Not Enter" sign at the Lincoln Tunnel, was arrested Saturday when records revealed he was wanted in Florida for violating parole as a registered sex offender, Port Authority police said.

Ricardo Hernandez, 40, from Queens, New York, was charged as a fugitive from justice, driving while intoxicated and possessing a false driver's license, police said.

Police stopped Hernandez at about 2:30 a.m. after he allegedly ignored the traffic sign at a toll booth. Hernandez had alcohol on his breath and failed a sobriety test, police said. A bottle of whiskey was found behind the driver's seat of his car.

A records check showed that he was using a false license and that he was a registered sex offender accused of a parole violation by a Broward County warrant, investigators said. Details about the parole violation warrant were unavailable.

Hernandez was being held on $50,000 bail. It was unclear whether he had secured a lawyer. 

<![CDATA[San Diego Padres Manager Balances Busy Schedule]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 11:18:57 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/185*120/GettyImages_481616417.jpg

Padres manager Bud Black is a busy man.

Aside from team meetings, scouting reports, in-game management, meeting with players individually when necessary, filling out lineup cards, meeting with team doctors to get injury updates, and throwing batting practice, Buddy meets with the media. He meets with the media a lot.

Amazingly, in each one (with only very few exceptions) he shows patience and humor, which is crazy when you see the full breakdown:

  • About 50 scheduled times during Spring Training.
  • Add around 10 or so more for national or 1-on-1 interviews.
  • In-season he holds a media session before and after every game for a total of 324.
  • Plus about 10 for random workouts, player acquisition press conferences, and awards banquets.
  • About 30 radio interviews.

That gives us a grand total of…424 media meetings every year (give or take a dozen). Buddy did not know that number specifically, but he did explain how he does what he does...

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Community Remembers Skater Killed in Lakeside]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:56:42 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/donals+webimg+3-PIC_0.jpg

Community members came together Saturday to support a young Lakeside man that was killed while riding his skateboard.

The proceeds from the benefit are going to a scholarship to help underprivileged skaters who may not be able to afford equipment.

Daniel Donals, 21, was riding his skateboard out of a private driveway on Valle Vista Road on Feb. 11 when he skated into the pathway of an oncoming truck, according to California Highway Patrol. He died later in a local hospital.

A group of Daniel's friends came together Saturday to host a spaghetti luncheon in honor of their late friend at the Lakeside VFW at 12650 Lindo Lane.

Jacob Cohen, a friend of Donals’, said at the fundraiser that Donals was loved by many in the community.

“He was just a part of our family, you know? Part of our skating community; not just our skating community, but the Lakeside community. He knew a lot of people always had a smile on his face; we’re doing it for him.”

Donals competed in wrestling and at swim meets in high school, but his friends in Lakeside remembered him best for skateboarding. The money from Saturday’s fundraiser will go toward a memorial brick at the local skate park and will start a scholarship fund to help young skaters in need.

The Local Skate Shop has joined in their efforts.

"He was a really good kid that just sort of stood out in the community," said Local Skate Shop owner Mark Johnson. "He was really kind to everyone. He didn't have a bad bone in his body."

Johnson, who said he plans to close the shop briefly to attend the spaghetti luncheon, just wants to see Daniel's memory live on in the skating community.

"This is our first loss for our brand new skateboard community," Johnson said. "The skate park is barely a year old, and this has really had an effect on our skateboard family."

According to the Donate Life Foundation, Daniel's organs were used to save the lives of four people in need and his tissue donations will be used to heal more than 50 others - something his father said makes him a hero, even in death.

Cohen said at the fundraiser that he wanted his friend to be remembered as an “awesome person” full of love.

“It is hard to put into words for me,” Cohen said. “He was a friend.”

Photo Credit: NBC 7 Staff]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Swedish Teen Found in NY]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 04:24:02 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/022815teen.JPG

A Swedish teen with Asperger's was found safe early Sunday and reuinted with his father nearly a day after he went missing in New York City, police said.

Marcus Kerttu, 15, was scheduled to depart the city Saturday, but instead his family was waiting for word of his whereabouts.

He was last seen Friday evening shortly before 8 p.m. at a McDonald's on Canal Street, police said. He was described as 5 feet 8 inches tall and 120 pounds, wearing blue jeans, black sneakers, black coat and a black hat.

Photo Credit: NYPD]]>
<![CDATA[Brother's Surprise Reunion With Hero Soldier Sibling]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 13:10:22 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/170*120/2-28-2015-HeroReunion.JPG

A brother enjoyed a dream reunion with his soldier sibling as he picked up a commendation on his behalf Friday.

Wyatt Bailey, 17, shed tears of joy when his elder brother Kristopher, who he thought was in Korea, made his surprise appearance in full uniform as he accepted the award in front of his class at Tesoro High School in Rancho Santa Margarita.

The U.S. Army Infantryman was given the Orange County Sheriff's Department award for helping deputies catch a suspected drug dealer as he ran through his neighborhood back in 2013.

"He's a once in a lifetime type of person," Wyatt said, "There's never going to be anyone else like him."

Initially Kristopher thought he was being followed by a patrol car, and instead ended up helping the deputy catch a suspect, tackling the man when he realized what was happening.

"The only thing going through my head was just get this guy, stop him and let the sheriff do the rest," Kristopher said.

Kristopher, wanted to join the army since he was eight, will now enjoy a 15-day break back home with his family before he is stationed in New York.

<![CDATA[Record-Breaking Bust: 15 Tons of Pot Seized]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 04:44:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/otay+mesa+record+breaking+seizure+%282%29.jpg

More than 15 tons of marijuana hidden in a mattress shipment was seized at the Otay Mesa cargo port of entry — the largest narcotics bust in the history of that border crossing and the second largest seizure at any crossing nationwide.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers made the find as they inspected a truck claiming to carry mattresses and cushions on Thursday evening.

The officer inspecting it referred it to an x-ray exam, where an anomaly was detected.

As the truck was docked for a more intense examination, a CBP officer raised the trailer's door and found plastic-wrapped packages, stacked floor to ceiling and front to back, filling nearly the entire truck. Just a few mattresses were stacked along the wall at the other end.

Officers tallied the find, which came to 1,296 packages containing about 31,598 pounds of marijuana. That load has an estimated street value of about $18.96 million.

The driver, a 46-year-old Mexican citizen with a valid border crossing card, was turned over to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. The tractor-trailer, cargo shipment and drugs were all seized by CBP officers.

The Otay Mesa cargo port of entry saw its last record-breaking bust in 2003 when 19,999 pounds of marijuana was discovered. The largest seizure ever recorded by CBP officers was 35,265 pounds of marijuana at the Calexico East port of entry in 2013.

Photo Credit: CBP]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Spring Training: Get to Know Matt Kemp]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 12:17:04 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/WEB_Get_To_Know_Matt_Kemp_NBC_RSH-MCDS_1200x675_405923395995.jpg The first major move the Padres made in their whirlwind off-season was trading for Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp. The All-Star and MVP runner-up was not very well liked by Padres fans. But, he’s quickly winning over the Friar Faithful, who are pinning their hopes to the slugging star having a sensational season. NBC 7’s Derek Togerson talked 1 on 1 with Kemp to see how he views himself as a leader, and just how good he thinks his new team can be.]]> <![CDATA[The Big Freeze: February 2015 by the Numbers]]> Mon, 02 Mar 2015 05:03:09 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP47401093417.jpg

February 2015 was brutal. The bone-numbing, punishing cold shattered records in the Northeast, making February the coldest month for some cities since reliable records were first kept.

Some places recorded the most days of zero or below temperatures. Adding to the misery were multiple winter storms that buried Boston under piles of snow.

While the first day of March was blustery across the Northeast, the end is in sight.

Weather Services International predicted that March, April and May should all be warmer than normal in the Northeast.

Take a look at the frigid February by the numbers:

6.2 degrees: The average temperature in Bangor, Maine, according to the National Weather Service. That's about 15 degrees below normal and easily beats the old record of 8.4 degrees, from January 1994. A February record low of 13.8. degrees was also set in Portland, Maine.

9.0 degrees: The average temperature in Syracuse, New York, which shattered by 3 degrees the old record set in February 1934. That makes February 2015 the coldest month ever for Syracuse.

10.9 degrees: The average temperature in Buffalo, New York, beating the 1934 record of 11.4, according to the Northeast Regional Climate Center at Cornell University.

15.7 degrees: The average temperature in February in Hartford, Connecticut,  according to First Alert Meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan. That's a degree below the current record of 16.5 degrees, which was set in February 1934. The month is also expected to break the 2004 record in Bridgeport, Connecticut, which stands at 21.9 degrees. The average temperature in the Bridgeport area in February was 19.7 degrees.

18.8 degrees: The average temperature in Boston, making February the second-coldest month on record. The city spent over 500 hours without breaking 32 degrees.

23.9 degrees: The average temperature in New York City, making the month the coldest February in more than 80 years and the third coldest since 1869. The coldest February ever recorded in the city was in 1934, when the average temperature in Central Park was 19.9 degrees. February of 1885 comes in second.

4 below zero: The temperature dipped down to 4 below zero at Dulles International Airport in Virginia,  on Feb. 24, shattering the previous record of 14 degrees. That record was set in 1967. The entire region ran close to 10 degrees below normal for the month.

102 inches: The amount of snow Boston received this winter, most of it in February. It’s just 5.6 inches shy of the snowiest winter on record, according to the National Weather Service.

150: The number of structures in Massachusetts where roofs have collapsed because of the snow loads this winter, according to state officials, The Associated Press reported. On Sunday, a youth hockey team escaped without injury when part of a snow-weighted roof at a Canton, Massachusetts, skating rink collapsed.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Search for Missing Hiker Suspended]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:52:33 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/rory6P0227_1200x675_405758019626.jpg

The search for a hiker who disappeared in the Anza Borrego desert will be suspended Friday night due to weather, according to the San Diego Sheriff's Department.

An avid hiker, 28-year-old Christopher Sylvia set out Feb. 12 on the Pacific Crest Trail with a week's supply of food. He was reported missing by his roommate the following Monday when he failed to show up at a meeting spot to refill his food and supplies.

On Tuesday, other hikers on the trail found Sylvia's sleeping bag, backpack and other personal belongings just north of Warner Springs about 13 miles off Highway 79.

Rescue crews from San Diego, Riverside and Los Angeles have been searching for Sylvia since Thursday, but the search will be suspended due to a winter storm headed into the area this weekend.

Christopher's mother, Nancy Sylvia, spoke to NBC 7 Friday and said all five of her children are experienced hikers and she suspects her son's disappearance is foul play.

"Why was he going alone? That is very unusual," Nancy said. "Especially when they found his gear... He would not have left his gear."

Christopher's mother said his roommate is his best friend from middle school and he did not come to bring provisions, but to pick up her son and take him back to Vista.

She said he left the rendezvous place when Sylvia didn't show because he had to go to work.

"I'm very concerned, I'm very upset," Nancy Sylvia said. "I'm poor...I'm trying to get the money...I want to go out in the mountains and find him myself."

The Sheriff's Department said they do not suspect foul play, but the investigation is open and ongoing.

Sylvia is described as 5-feet, 8-inches tall, 155 pounds, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He was last seen in brown hiking boots, dark colored jacket and green pants.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Diego Sheriff's Department at (858) 565-5200.

<![CDATA[How a DHS Shutdown Would Affect San Diego]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 09:15:19 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/department+of+homeland+security+sign.jpg

While the political fight over funding the Department of Homeland Security is playing out in Washington, the dilemma could hit close to home for thousands of DHS employees in San Diego.

More than 500,000 people cross the border between San Ysidro, Tecate and Otay Mesa a day, keeping officers with Customs and Border Protection on their toes as they look for threats — DHS shutdown or not.

“We're essential personnel and we'll be there without a paycheck, but we will still be out there protecting the border,” said Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.

However, some of the area’s 2,200 Border Patrol agents might be called in to replace other furloughed border employees.

Moran said a loss of income would greatly affect many workers living paycheck to paycheck.

“Obviously our newer agents are not making the same amount of money as our veteran agents, but even those agents, this is a high cost of living area -- -the highest along either border,” he said.

The U.S. Coast Guard has nearly 500 people, active duty and reserve, protecting San Diego's port and coastline.

“Most Coast Guard personnel in the San Diego area are military members and will remain on the job in the event of a lapse in funding,” spokesperson Dan Dewell said in a statement. "While such a lapse has significant impacts to our workforce and long term planning, the Coast Guard will continue activities that provide for national security, or that protect life and property."

But discretionary training, routine patrols or other operations may be reduced, deferred or canceled.

Also under the DHS umbrella are Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Transportation Safety Administration, charged with securing the skies operating out of Lindbergh Field. There are 400 TSA employees working at the San Diego International Airport, many of whom are essential employees.

A spokesperson for TSA said they too will report to work whether they are being paid.

Moran said while DHS employees worry about security of the nation, many of them are wondering Friday who has their backs.

“Our agents are basically hostages in a political standoff between Congress and the President,” he said.

On Friday, Congress narrowly avoided a DHS shutdown when the House passed a one-week extension of its funding just two hours before the deadline. The impasse began after congressional Republicans tried to add measures in the bill that would halt President Obama's executive action on immigration, which they call unconstitutional.

Democrats, however, refused to pass anything other than a clean funding bill. The House will reconvene Monday to take up the debate again.

<![CDATA[Men Run Bleeding from 5-Car Pileup]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 11:01:23 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/tlmd_police_line_generic722.jpg

Deputies and K-9 units are searching for two men seen running from the scene of a five-car pileup on State Route 76 in Pala.

The California Highway Patrol says the incident started at 7:22 p.m. when a truck towing a trailer crashed, sending debris flying into other cars on SR-76 at Pala Mission Road.

Soon after, witnesses saw the two men, bleeding from their heads, run from the scene.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department's helicopter was called in to help search for the men. CHP has shut down the eastbound SR-76 while the hunt continues.

Officials believe they may be hiding on property in that area.

<![CDATA[Roof of Ice Rink Collapses]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 05:10:06 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/canton+fire+pic+2.jpg

Coaches and parents are credited with saving the lives of two dozen students after the roof of an ice skating rink collapsed in Canton, Massachusetts.

It came crashing down with little notice - part of the roof over the Metropolis Rink is now gone.

"We were like, 'Why are we alive?'" said Norwood Youth Hockey Coach Mike Fanizzi. "We just looked at each other."

At 7 a.m., the team had just started practicing inside when the coaches heard loud, unusual noises coming from above.

"Heard a second snap and started screaming - we knew something was so wrong," said Coach Chris Sharkey

"I immediately started screaming to get off the ice," said Fanizzi. "I just knew that wasn't a natural sound."

That split-second decision saved lives.

"There were seven kids that we were staring at that were right underneath where it collapsed, and luckily, Mike's voice just was so loud that it forced them to move," said Sharkey.

Fifteen seconds later, the roof gave way.

"Right as we get to probably where the penalty box is, one of the other coaches and a mother went past us, and the roof collapsed right in front of us," said Fanizzi.

Even though the collapse happened at the other end of the rink, the force of it blew out a wall, creating even more damage.

Firefighters say heavy snow on the roof brought it down.

"Every single coach out there did a great job today," said Sharkey.

Remarkably, no one was injured.

The coaches say they were just doing what anyone else would.

"I didn't even think twice," said Fanizzi. "I know none of the other coaches did, either."

State officials say a site survey had been done at the rink just one day prior to the collapse and there were concerns expressed about the amount of snow on the roof.

The Town of Canton operates and leases the rink from the state.

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation says they have reached out to all 34 non-DCR managed rinks to make sure their roofs are checked.

Photo Credit: Canton Fire]]>
<![CDATA[Police Chief Booked on Solicitation]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:57:10 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/022715+stephen+johnson+mug.jpg

Miami Gardens Police Chief Stephen Johnson was arrested for soliciting a prostitute in Dania Beach Friday, officials said.

Mayor Oliver Gilbert confirmed the arrest and said Johnson was fired immediately.

Jail records showed Johnson, 53, was being held on $300 bond. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

According to a Broward Sheriff's Office arrest report, deputies were conducting an undercover operation targeting solicitation of prostitution at a Dania Beach hotel when Johnson was arrested.

Authorities had placed an escort ad on backpage.com and two detectives were posing as prostitutes at the hotel, the affidavit said.

Johnson had called the number on the ad and arranged to pay $100 for 30 minutes with two prostitutes, the report said.

When Johnson arrived at the hotel room, he was let in and handed over the $100, the report said. He had two condoms in his pocket when he was arrested, the report said.

A news release from the department said Assistant Chief Antonio Brooklen will serve as interim chief.

"We remain committed to excellence and integrity on every level," the department said in the release. "We will not allow Mr. Johnson's bad judgment to reflect negatively on the hardworking officers of the City of Miami Gardens and the residents they serve on a daily basis."

The department came under fire earlier this month following the officer-involved shooting of 25-year-old Lavall Hall.

Johnson said Hall attacked two officers with a broom handle and was shot twice with a Taser before he was fatally shot by an officer.

Hall's family has been critical of police in the wake of the shooting, holding a vigil and protest and demanding more answers in the shooting.

Johnson was named Miami Gardens' Police chief in May 2014 after a long career with the North Miami Police Department. He also served as North Miami's city manager from 2011 to 2014.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Calif. Condor Breeding Season Starts With 2 Eggs]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 21:50:50 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Condor+Egg_002_Web.jpg

After the California condor came dangerously close to extinction 30 years ago, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park has two new hopeful additions to the protected population.

Two recently laid condor eggs are now under the watchful eyes of zookeepers, marking the kickoff of the 2015 breeding season.

On Friday, the zoo sent out pictures of senior keeper Debbie Marlow holding a 2-week-old egg up to a warm light – a process called candling, where they check the air cell, position of the embryo and blood vessel development.

She then discovered the egg weighed 249 grams, a 14 percent weight loss from the previous check. But unlike with newly born zoo babies, who they hope will gain weight, the loss is a good thing. The zoo says it means the fluids inside the egg are decreasing and the chick is growing at a healthy clip.

"All eggs lose weight as they develop," said Marlow. "It seems counterintuitive because as the chick grows you would expect there to be a weight gain, but egg shells are porous and moisture is lost through the shell by evaporation during the incubation process."

It’ll be a warm little life in the incubator until the chick is ready to “pip,” or emerge from its shell. That typically happens about 55 days after it’s laid.

Animal care staff takes condor eggs out of their mother’s nest to monitor their growth and replace them with artificial eggs so the mother bird is not concerned or confused. But when the chick is ready to pip, staff puts the real egg back into the next so the parents can help it hatch.

The zoo says in the 1980s only 22 condors were left in the world. Now, there are more than 400, more than half of which are in California, Arizona and Baja California, Mexico. The Safari Park has hatched 185 chicks and released more than 80 birds into the wild.

Photo Credit: Ken Bohn]]>
<![CDATA[Neighbors, Classmates Mourn Boy Killed by Car]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 17:59:47 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/angel+cruz.jpg

A balloon with the name “Angel” floated above a sidewalk memorial that grew in El Cajon Friday.

It's on Peach Avenue, where 7-year-old second grader Angel Cruz was hit by a car Thursday afternoon. Early Friday morning, Angel died from a traumatic brain injury, the medical examiner's office says.

“It’s horrifying,” said resident Christine Gram. “I’m just saddened by this whole situation.”

The entire community, including the boy's school, are now dealing with the loss. Crisis counselors were sent to Naranca Elementary School. The school district superintendent said he met with teachers and staff.

“I shared the tragic news, prepared for the day emotionally and are doing everything we can to prove as much normalcy for the kids as we communicate and go through various steps of grief,” said David Miyashiro, Superintendent of the Cajon Valley Union School District.

Back at the family apartment complex, a steady stream of family and friends walked up to the family home to offer condolences. Among them was the owner of the building, who says the family has lived there for the past eight years.

Right now, El Cajon police are investigating the accident, but right now have not filed any charges against the 18-year old driver, another resident of the neighborhood, who hit the boy.

“Preliminary evidence from the scene, as well as witness statements, indicate that speed and alcohol were not a factor in the collision,” said Lt. Randy Soulard with the El Cajon Police Department.

But while speed may not have been a factor in the accident, residents say drivers often exceed the posted 25 mile per hour speed limit.

“What’s really bad is this street is well known for speeders. They want to try to dodge Broadway, so they come down Peach, thinking they’ll miss the lights,” said Gram.

Family friends have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for medical and funeral expenses. Click here for more information.

Photo Credit: GoFundMe.com
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<![CDATA[Government Workers Steal $2.4M in Gas: Audit]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:01:31 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/gas15.JPG

Federal workers, including two from the San Diego area, have illegally purchased more than $2.4 million worth of gasoline since 2010 by using taxpayer-funded government gas cards for their personal vehicles, according to federal investigators.

A review of federal audits by NBC 7 Investigates found about 260 cases of gas theft by government workers nationwide in the past five years. Taxpayers are forced to foot the bill when government employees fill up for their own personal use.

The U.S. General Services Administration, which oversees a federal government fleet of 150,000 automobiles, has distributed 590,385 gasoline purchase cards to federal employees. Investigators with the GSA track purchases through a database that alerts them to suspicious gas purchases made on the same day.

In the San Diego area, two members of the military were caught and prosecuted for stealing more than $5,000 between them. A lance corporal stationed at Camp Pendleton faced a special court martial in July 2013 for making $2,201 worth of purchases in unleaded plus and super unleaded gasoline. Investigators say the individual purchased gas fraudulently at gas stations in West Virginia and Newport News, Virginia.

In another case, a Navy engineer technician from El Centro was convicted in federal court with a misdemeanor count for stealing government funds. He was sentenced to paying $3,169 in restitution and 6-months probation in 2012.

Bob Erickson, acting inspector general of the GSA, is tasked with overseeing the $514 million federal gas program.

"I think it's opportunistic. It's human greed," Erickson said of the thefts. "There is a variety of motives. Sometimes it's a well put together scheme to defraud the U.S. Sometimes it's just someone who decides they're not getting paid enough and wants to get a bonus using the government credit card."

GSA investigators have prosecuted more than 260 gas theft cases since 2010, recovering $2.4 million nationwide.

"When we catch them red-handed, it's 'I knew this was coming. I've been waiting for this day,'" said Special Agent Eric Radwick. "Most of them, they know what they're doing is wrong."

The FLEET cards require workers to enter the odometer from their government cars and their government tag numbers to prevent theft.

But cases reviewed by NBC 7 Investigates show workers can and do falsify the information.

Radwick says his team goes undercover and reviews a federal database looking for similar gas purchases on the same day to catch the crooks.

"It is a crime. You're stealing from the federal government. The government is paying for the fuel and they're not getting it, so you're stealing the fuel from the federal government."

<![CDATA[Rain, Snow Expected Over the Weekend]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 15:02:02 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/generic+umbrella+rain+storm.jpg

San Diego is expecting another storm this weekend, and the San Diego County Water Authority and local lifeguard and fire rescue stations are offering tips to conserve water and keep homes and businesses safe.

Rain is expected to hit the East County Saturday morning and shower hard into the middle of the day before widespread showers hit the rest of the county Saturday night.

San Diegan's can expect anywhere from a half inch to an inch and a half of rain between Saturday morning and Sunday night.

Snowfall is also expected at 4,000 feet.

Homes and businesses in need of sandbags can go to any San Diego county fire station or to lifeguard stations in Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla Shores.

Crews do need to be present at the stations to receive sandbags. If they are not, they suggest trying a retailer that sells them.

Sandbags do not come pre-filled, but anyone with access to the beach can fill them there, according to city officials.

The San Diego County Water Authority said it is important to have sprinkler systems shut off during the rain to conserve water, and the systems can remain off for a few days after the last rain.

“While these rainstorms are welcome, they will not break the serious drought conditions that exist statewide, and we need to continue to take advantage of these opportunities to reduce our use as much as possible,” said Mark Weston, chair of the San Diego County Water Authority’s Board of Directors.

The water authority said it would take three full months of heavy precipitation and cooler temperatures for the state to begin recovering from the drought, so taking advantage of the little bit of rainfall we are getting is crucial.

The San Diego Sheriff's Department also reminds those headed to the snow in the Julian, Pine Valley and Descanso areas to be respectful of residents and private property.

They also remind drivers to have a full tank of gas, water and food in the event they get stuck in traffic or stranded by weather for several hours.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Spring Training: Who Hits First?]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:45:24 -0800 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages_456113586.jpg

Although the Padres overhauled their roster this off-season, they could not possibly get to all the issues that need addressing. The addition of power and youth were paramount, and both accomplished.

There's a lot of new pop in the lineup. Matt Kemp, Justin Upston, Wil Myers and Derek Norris can all drive in runs. The question is, who will be the runners they drive in?

The Padres don't have a true leadoff hitter anywhere on the projected, Opening Day 25-man roster. But, don't worry. Neither do most teams.

"In this day and age, I think the true, prototypical leadoff hitter is hard to find," said Padres manager Bud Black. "There are some out there. I think (Marlins second baseman) Dee Gordon is a prototypical one. Obviously, Rickey Henderson was probably, arguably the best leadoff hitter of all time."

If you have to go that far back, you know there's a dearth of "true" leadoff hitters in the 2015 world of Major League Baseball. So, since there's not a guy who really stands out (prospects Rico Noel and Jose Rondon seem to fit the mold but they're not MLB-ready yet), who does Buddy see as the guy who sets the table?

"I think if you look at (Will) Venable, (Cameron) Maybin, (Wil) Myers, (Yangervis) Solarte ... let's get started there," said Black

Shortstop Alexi Amarista is one option many people thought would be in the mix for the top spot in the order because of his speed, but a low on-base percentage has Black thinking something else.

"Alexi and (fellow shortstop Clint) Barmes fit, maybe, down at the bottom of the order."

Catcher Derek Norris is another guy people thought would have a shot at leading off. He has that high OBP, but not the speed you need from a leadoff guy, so Black sees him in the middle of the order with Matt Kemp, Justin Upton, Jedd Gyorko and Will Middlebrooks.

When Cactus League play begins, expect to see multiple guys getting the first at-bat of the game.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>